Ticket presales predict box office performance

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Ticket presales predict box office performance

Ticket presale rates at the box office are a prime indicator of a film’s success, a study by CJ CGV has shown.

According to an analysis conducted by CGV Research Center, a think tank arm of the theater franchise, the amount of tickets bought prior to a film’s release date plays a vital role in determining the film’s opening weekend box office ranking, which consequently serves as an important standard for other moviegoers when choosing what to go see in theaters.

“Distributors say box office scores for the first weekend, which is from Thursday to Sunday, is a yardstick for the total ticket sales,” said Lee Seung-won, team leader at the research center, at a media forum held by CJ CGV in Yeouido, western Seoul, on Tuesday.

The study results show that the higher the presale rate was for a film, the more tickets it sold in total.

The analysis, conducted on between 900 and 1,200 CGV customers every month between October 2014 and September 2015, showed that 24 percent of the tickets sold during that time were bought prior to the film’s release, of which 98 percent of were purchased through online platforms.

Of the 24 percent of tickets that were reserved before a film’s release, those between the ages of 25 and 29 made up the largest portion of customers, at 21.3 percent, followed by those in their early 30s, accounting for 16 percent.

CGV Research Center labeled this group of customers between 25 and 34 as those who are just starting out their careers.

Assembling data from this age group’s purchasing patterns, the research center also found out that ticket purchases were mostly made between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.

And the sources this group of customers primarily refer to in deciding which movies to see were reviews posted on Internet blogs or cafes, for both male and female customers, followed by word-of-mouth recommendations from their acquaintances.

This age group also showed a strong tendency to go see a film alone if they think the film is worth watching according to their sources.

Also, the study showed that out of those who buy tickets beforehand, 23 percent of them were VIP members who watch more than four films per year. The average age of this group was 32 years old.

And according to the analysis, if 100 VIP members watch a single film, it influences as many as 1,611 people to also see the movie.

“For those who enjoy watching films and buying movie tickets beforehand, they have a variety of mediums where they can get in-depth information about the film,” Lee said. “But for those who do not, the opinions of these film aficionados are extremely important.”

“It means that if these opinion leaders diversify their choices in films, it will have influence in expanding the overall film industry,” he added.

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]
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